ELD Mandate Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ELD mandate?

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is the common name for a comprehensive final rule published by the FMCSA on December 16, 2015. These electronic logging device regulations:

  • Required the use of either automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) or electronic logging devices (ELDs) by most commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service records of duty status. As of December 17, 2019, the option of using an AOBRD to satisfy the requirement went away, and only ELDs are considered compliant electronic logs
  • Set performance and design standards for ELDs and require devices to be registered with FMCSA.
  • Establish what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep.
  • Prohibit harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as a fleet management system). The rule also provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.

When did the e-log mandate take effect?

Carriers had until December 18, 2017, to comply with the ELD mandate, which required the use of ELDs or grandfathered AOBRDs by most interstate CMV drivers who are required to record their hours of service (HOS) and who are not otherwise exempt. AOBRDs installed before December 18, 2017, were allowed to be used until December 16, 2019, at which time they must have been upgraded to meet the ELD technical specifications.

Do I need to comply with the electronic logs mandate?

The ELD rule applies to drivers who are required to maintain records of duty status (RODS, or “logs”) per 49 CFR 395.8(a) and who do not qualify for one of the ELD exemptions in §395.8(a) or one of the temporary waivers or exemptions that FMCSA has granted.

Who is exempt from having to use ELDs?

Specific ELD exemptions exist for:

  • Drivers who only had to log 8 days (or fewer) out of the last 30 days
  • Drivers operating a driveaway/towaway vehicle that is part of a delivery
  • Drivers driving or towing a recreational vehicle in a driveaway/towaway operation
  • Drivers operating a vehicle that is older than model year 2000 (1999 or older) or that has an engine that is older than model year 2000
  • Drivers operating a rental truck that was rented under the terms of a lease agreement that is 8 days or less in duration

In addition, there are short-term exemptions and waivers in place that allow small groups of drivers to continue using paper logs. Also, drivers that are fully exempt from the HOS rules due to using one of the exceptions in §390.3, §390.23, or §395.1 (government employees, drivers transporting agricultural commodities within 150 miles of the source during the state’s planting and harvesting season, drivers operating utility service vehicles, etc.) are also exempt from using an electronic logging device while operating under the exemption.

What is the definition of harassment in the ELD mandate?

Harassment is an action taken based on information from an ELD or other technology used in combination with an ELD that the carrier knew (or should have known) would result in a driver violating the Hours of Service (HOS) rules or a situation where the driver is operating while ill or fatigued.

Is there a reason to use ELDs even if the e-log mandate doesn’t require me to?

Even if the company is exempt, they may choose, as a good business decision, to use an ELD solution that enables the carrier to:

  • Effectively manage complex Hours of Service requirements
  • Know where their assets are
  • Know how safely the assets are being operated
  • Have the ability to estimate time to a job site and time back to the terminal
  • Manage productivity (time at a job site, stopped, traveling, out-of-route travel, etc.)
  • Document driver vehicle inspections
  • Track driver qualifications
  • Track vehicle maintenance
  • Create a performance incentive program based on quantifiable data
  • Have a tool that assists with IFTA and IRP compliance

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